Safety Razor!

I hate shaving. I hate everything about it. I hate how it feels, I hate how much time it takes, I hate the inevitable razor burn that follows. Most of all, I hate buying razor blades; I hate how much they cost and how it just feels like you’re getting ripped off when you buy replacements. More than once, I’ve wondered if it just wouldn’t be cheaper to keep buying a whole new Razor each time.

The only thing I hate more than shaving is the prickly, stubbly, neck-itch inducing presence of not shaving.

Today was my first shave with an old school, double-edged safety razor. And it was glorious.

The idea came about when we were at the store a few days ago picking up some supplies and I was lamenting, once again, the fact that I needed new razor blades. But tucked into a lonely corner of the lowest shelf, I noticed an inexpensive little box containing a double-bladed safety razor and a set of replacement blades. There were also replacement blades that were a fraction of the Gillete shit I’ve been buying.

Holding the box in my hand, I recalled a blog post I’d read a very long time ago, about how to shave like your grandpa. It had made shaving with a true safety razor seem old school and stylish and slick. I never followed up on the advice from that blog post, however, because it seemed like a true safety razor was beyond my reach. My grandfathers are deceased, so I can’t exactly ask them.

That blog post was written in 2008; what a difference seven years has made! Double-edged safety razors are coming back into vogue; the Wikipedia page indicates that since 2009, sales of traditional safety razors have increased by 1,000%.

Gentlemen readers of this blog, if you haven’t yet tried this, I urge you to do so. It’s less expensive and yet it also feels so much better. I had the best shave of my life today. I feel clean, whole, and thoroughly unburnt by razors. I’m actually looking forward to the next time I can shave, simply because of how good I felt immediately afterwards.

That’s the life lesson from this experience, at least for me. I approach too many things as necessary tasks that must be endured rather than savored. It’s something that I’m trying to change.

Thoughts On The Thrill Of Destroying A Box Of Stuff

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a twenty-something male is living on his own and is pretty bad when it comes to basic life skills like maintaining one’s files and/or opening mail. The mail all goes into a pile on the young man’s desk. When the desk starts to overflow, the mail (most of it unopened) all goes into a box that can be safely hidden away until a vague, unspecified future date when the young man “will get around to it.”

Hilarious, no?

The idea was that I needed a paper shredder because I was getting roughly a hundred pre-approved credit card applications a week and I knew that if I threw them out, anyone willing to root around in my trash could sign up for a shiny Capital One card with a low APR of only 23%. This might sound paranoid but for the fact that I have literally had to chase someone out of my trash bin who was rooting through my discarded stuff.

So all those Capital One offers went into the box. And I was also vaguely uncertain about how long I needed to store my pay stubs, so those all went into the box too. And since I wasn’t sorting my mail, it all went into the box. My bank statements went in as well, and the bills, and the student loan stuff . . .

And of course, I was paying my loans online and doing my banking online and paying the bills online, so there really wasn’t a need for any of that paper. I didn’t want to throw it out though, so into the box it went.

I asked for (and received!) a paper shredder for Christmas and armed with this fearsome tool of whirling blades and gnashing teeth, I resolved to finally get through my box. I hauled it out into the living room and proceeded to open and then shred roughly three years of statements, applications, and other junk.

I hauled away four full trash bags of shredded paper that day. My only regret is that I didn’t take a picture of the before and after.

Now? Now there is a trim little file folder on my desk. My important documents are in there. Everything else goes right into the shredder, instead of a box.

Is this what growing up feels like?